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The Care Quality Commission rates The Willows Care Home, Blackpool, as Outstanding

22 July 2016
The Willows Care Home
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The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has found the quality of care provided by The Willows Care Home, Blackpool, to be Outstanding following an inspection in March 2016.

The Willows Care Home is a detached single storey property, providing accommodation for 16 people who require nursing or personal care. At the time of the inspection visit there were 14 people who lived at the home.

The service has been rated Outstanding for being caring and well-led, and was rated good for being safe, effective and responsive. The Willows Care Home was rated as Outstanding overall.

A full report of the inspection is available.

Without exception, people and their representatives could not praise The Willows Care Home enough. One relative said, "It's an amazing place. Nothing is too much trouble. I can't recommend it highly enough."

Inspectors received comments from people who lived at the home which said that all staff were exceptionally caring, respectful and sensitive towards them. Inspectors also observed staff and the management team engaged with individuals in an affectionate, respectful and loving manner.

The owner and registered manager had supported staff to provide high standards of care for the benefit of people who lived at The Willows Care Home. This was demonstrated by the outstanding awards in caring for people the service had achieved.

Staff told inspectors the registered manager 'led by example'. This was underpinned by a clear set of values which included promoting each person's individuality, privacy, dignity, choice and rights. During this visit, CQC observed staff acting according to these values when providing support to people in their care.

Some areas of great care that inspectors saw included:

  • Inspectors observed that staff spoke with people in a respectful, caring manner and demonstrated an excellent awareness of their support and care requirements. People who lived at the home were the centre of everything the staff did. Nothing was too much trouble. Staff always stopped what they were doing to take time out if a person wanted them to spend some time with them. A relative spoken with said, “The staff are exceptional, the residents always matter as most important no matter what is going on. That is fed down by the management. A first class home.”
  • Staff told inspectors that they found the management team at The Willows Care Home supportive and led the service extremely well. Comments from staff included, “The home is organised and well run a fantastic home for people. It provides a base to ensure the residents are cared for extremely well.”
  • The registered manager actively sought and acted upon the views of others. There was a strong emphasis on continually striving to improve, in order to deliver the best possible support for people who lived at the home. Feedback included, ‘The staff not only meet all my friend's daily care needs, but have taken a great deal of trouble to get to know her. A strong emphasis has been placed on her dignity and well-being.’ Also, ‘Through staff encouraging me, and promoting my independence I can now walk on my own with the use of a stick.’ And, ‘My mother spent her final few months in The Willows Care Home. She was treated with care, compassion, and most importantly dignity. The management and staff strive constantly to make The Willows a home rather than a care home whilst maintaining total professionalism. They all have a great sense of humour and a smile. This is a care home which is not depressing, it is cheerful, bright and pleasant and often filled with laughter. I cannot recommend the management and staff highly enough.’

Debbie Westhead, Deputy Chief Inspector for Adult Social Care in the North, said:

“This is a fantastic care home and there are many examples of outstanding practice that are clearly helping in delivering an excellent person-centred service.

“We were particularly impressed with the registered manager’s commitment to providing quality and care to people using this service and empowering staff to do the same.

“Residents and relatives told us repeatedly about what an excellent service this was and how staff often go above and beyond to ensure their needs are met.

“This is a real achievement for the whole team at The Willows Care Home, and a great example of what Outstanding care should look like.”


For further information please contact CQC Regional Engagement Officer Kerri James on 07464 92 9966.

Journalists wishing to speak to the press office outside of office hours can find out how to contact the team here. Please note: the press office is unable to advise members of the public on health or social care matters. For general enquiries, please call 03000 61 61 61.

Last updated:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors

Since launching its new programme of inspections using specialist inspection teams, CQC has published ratings on more than 12,000 adults social care services. Of those, less than 1% have been rated Outstanding.

Since 1 April 2015, providers have been required by law to display their ratings on their premises and on their websites so that the public can see their rating quickly and easily. This should be done within 21 days of publication of their inspection report. Further information on the display of CQC ratings.

About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.